By Benjamin Hawkins
FORT WORTH, Texas – Although Southern Baptists have declared their commitment to the inerrancy and authority of Scripture, they have not consistently maintained a Biblical expression of women’s roles in the church, Katie McCoy argued during the Baptist Theology Research Award Student Symposium, April 28.
“Within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), we still have significant work to do on the issue of women’s roles,” McCoy, a Master of Divinity student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said. “Since the 1970s, we turned back the tide from drifting outside God’s Word when it comes to female pastors. However, the need for clarity in applying 1 Timothy 2:12 still remains.”
During Southwestern Seminary’s third annual Baptist Theology Research Award Symposium, McCoy was selected as the winner from among five presenters for her essay, titled “Anchored Against the Tide: Female Pastors in the SBC and Contemporary Drifts toward Compromise.” All five presenters were selected from among numerous Southwestern students who contributed papers to the editorial board of BaptistTheology.org. A ministry of the seminary, BaptistTheology.org aims to serve local churches by addressing critical issues through White Papers and offering rare historical Baptist resources.
As the winner of the Baptist Theology Research Award, McCoy will publish her presentation as a White Paper on www.BaptistTheology.org. Additionally, Northeast Houston Baptist Church in Humble, Texas, provided LifeWay gift cards to presenters, with a $400 card going to the winner and $200 cards going to the remaining presenters.
“It was a privilege to be among the top five selected for this event and to hear other participants present the products of their study, and it is a great honor to have been given the award,” McCoy said. She added that she hopes her research will help Southern Baptists apply Scripture faithfully to the issue of women’s roles in the church.
“I hope that my generation will be vigilant and discerning as we test cultural trends and church practices against God’s perfect Word,” McCoy said. “I also hope that our convention will eventually change the Baptist Faith and Message’s wording on women in the church to say what the Bible does in 1 Timothy 2:12, rather than only stating that women should not be pastors. If our standard reflected what the Bible said, we would not have as much room for misinterpretation in applying it.”
Other participants of the symposium included Keith Collier, presenting “I Love Christ but Hate His Bride;” Cory D. Davis, presenting “Proto-Landmarkism or Baptist Ecumenism: The Northern Baptist Ecclesiology of Francis Wayland, 1796-1865;” Korey Kennedy, presenting “The Use of Church Covenants within the Local Church;” and Andrew Patton, presenting “Isaac Backus: Matthew 28:19-20.”